Marketing directors develop annual marketing plans, create a calendar of campaigns and events, set the marketing budget and analyse the market and competitors. They guide a marketing department, including the work of marketing managers. But marketing director is usually a less senior position than that of chief marketing officer, with the latter having input into all aspects of an organisation’s strategy, including acquisitions and HR. Marketing directors are most commonly employed by private sector companies but they can also work for charities and public bodies.
Typically, a marketing director will:
- Develop a marketing strategy for the organisation and for new and existing products or services
- Oversee the implementation of the marketing strategy
- Develop a brand strategy
- Set and administer an annual marketing budget
- Create and manage a calendar of events such as webinars, conferences and thought leadership contributions
- Guide the day-to-day activities of the marketing team and marketing manager
- Continually review changes to the market, consumer trends and the activities of competitors, adjusting the marketing plan if necessary
- Provide tools and materials to enable the sales team to function effectively
- Manage and refine the organisation’s social media presence
- Manage and measure marketing campaign costs
- Report on the effectiveness of marketing campaigns using pre-determined KPIs
- Utilise data for marketing campaigns, interrogating the organisation’s databases and external data
- With other senior executives, identify new business opportunities
- Conduct market research studies
- Negotiate with media agencies and secure agreements on the production of promotional materials
- Leadership and influencing skills: Marketing director is a creative role allowing plenty of latitude. So you need to be a clear thinker and good communicator. You will often report directly to the chief executive and have to justify your ideas to the executive team. You will also be leading and directing the work of others. Being a marketing director also involves constant networking and representing your organisation to outsiders.
- Management skills: You will have to oversee the marketing department and guide its day-to-day operations. This means recruiting, supervising and mentoring members of the marketing team. People management skills are a major part of the job.
- Analytical skills: The role calls for continual analysis of market trends and the positioning of competitors. This analysis provides the foundation for marketing strategies. Nowadays much of this analysis is done by drilling down into data around customer behaviour and experiences. So you need to be up to speed on these techniques.
A first degree (best subjects marketing or business Studies) is expected. Many employers also look for an MBA. Some want their marketing director to be a chartered marketer, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Eight to 10 years’ experience in marketing is the baseline. Commonly, incoming marketing directors are promoted from roles of head of marketing or marketing manager.
£45,000-£100,000 per annum.
Formal office hours of 9:00am-5.30pm normally longer in reality. Marketing directors are a regular presence at out of hours networking events. A willingness to travel, at home and overseas, is usually expected.
Your next steps may include:
- Chief marketing officer
- Chief strategy officer
- Marketing director
- Chief executive
A marketing director’s perspective
"The job involves oversight of all trade, consumer and brand marketing activity around the world. I have the responsibility of directing the Pukka brand to places and in ways that match the aspirations and vision of the business. The challenge is to continually keep us way ahead of our competition and to stay true to the values of the business and the expectations of our fans.
"I love working with an immensely talented team and exploring the limits of what can be achieved across multiple digital, experiential and social platforms. Working on, for and with a brand I love and admire in equal measure."
- Neil Fox, marketing director at Pukka Herbs